A Cadaver Christmas

2011

Comedy / Horror

2
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 33%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 33% · 100 ratings
IMDb Rating 4.6/10 10 865 865

Director

Top cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
789.41 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 25 min
Seeds 10
1.58 GB
1920*1080
English 5.1
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 25 min
Seeds 11

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by I_Ailurophile 4 / 10

A fair try that misses the mark in too many ways

There's a lot going on here. I get a sense that the finished film pretty well matches what the director, writers, and their cast were trying to achieve. Unfortunately, I can't say that the end product is fun, or sparks the imagination, in the way I assume those involved would want. 'A cadaver Christmas' is, sadly, mostly pretty subpar.

I do appreciate the post-production work that ensured the picture bears the appearance of a 70s grindhouse feature - faint vertical lines across the screen, slightly grainy image quality. In addition, there are a handful of moments scattered throughout these 85 minutes that are mildly clever and lightly amusing. However, these are the only noteworthy fragments of praise I have to offer.

It's one thing to suggest the cast demonstrate a lack of acting skills, thereby engendering inauthenticity in the movie, and I suppose that's a distinct possibility. True or not, it's also clear that everyone is emphatically hamming up their performances, and overacting - presumably at least in part in an effort to mimic those same grindhouse flicks. But with rare, infrequent exception as noted, their performances aren't funny, or even just broadly enjoyable. Mostly they're just overblown and irritating.

There are some good ideas in the plot, but the screenplay at large is less than impressive. Characters are very thin, and dialogue bears the same regrettable qualities as the acting. For one prominent example, town drunk Tom is supposed to be consistent comic relief, but for far too much of his time on screen he is instead just overbearing, and an unwelcome addition. Scene writing is loose, feels a little haphazard at times, and is often definitely unconvincing; even if the inclusion of an instance in the narrative is worthwhile, in the details it falters. Worse than the writing, though, is Joe Zerull's direction. Those questionable scenes are built with shots that attempt to imitate the artfulness and sophistication of other titles where they are employed, but here they are terribly forced and unnatural. Zerull's guidance of the cast, and the orchestration of each scene, feels amateurish and unpracticed. His work as editor is no better, with inelegant cuts and sequencing that leaves a bit to be desired.

I will allow that 'A cadaver Christmas' certainly feels like a low-budget passion project among friends, and I'm often willing to overlook many indelicacies so long as the end result is worthy. I've seen a few small-time pictures for which "DIY" and "homemade" were arguably the best descriptors, and was pleasantly surprised by how good they were. But what I see here, more than anything, is occasional passing value that in the next moment is taken too far, and is overcooked. That goes for special effects, as static blood and gore look great, but staged gory violence and post-production visual effects are dubious. That goes for much of the would-be comedy; when it isn't outright forced, a flash of amusement often overstays its welcome, diminishing its benefit. And that goes even for the ending, which could have concluded with a spark of brilliance before sunrise, but instead come morning is taken an extra step that breaks with the sardonic tone the feature has otherwise struck. Almost every scene that should be funny, horrific, or even poignant is rendered inert by the substantial indelicate hand at play in writing, direction, and acting alike.

I admire what the participants here were trying to do - creating a holiday horror flick with few resources and no major backing. Effort only goes so far, though, especially if the outcome falls too short. I want to like this more than I do - I see the potential of what the concept could have been - yet I also wonder if I'm already being too generous. I think budgetary constraints were the least of the problems with 'A cadaver Christmas,' as more so than not it tends to try too hard, or manages a proverbial "swing and a miss" while facing the wrong direction. True, there are a lot worse films out there that one could accidentally start watching. But unless you're dead-set on watching flicks of a group to which this belongs in one capacity or another, there's no need to seek it out, and I can't say I'd specifically recommend it for anything.

How unfortunate.

Reviewed by hubbard-51836 4 / 10

Missed the mark.

There was way too little humor and what looked like an attempt at dramatic moments. Make it funny, make it a horror movie, put on some horse blinders, and go for it. This is barely an entertaining b-horror movie.

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